On April 12, 1961, Yuri Gagarin became the first human, who went to space. Gagarin's flight not only opened the era of space exploration, but also became a symbol of man's eternal desire for new horizons.

Over the years, space science and technology have helped humanity to address issues related, particularly, to climate change, food security, global health and humanitarian assistance.

The discoveries made through space science make an important contribution to global efforts to promote sustainable development. The exploration of outer space, in which an increasing number of countries are participating, has now become a truly global undertaking, and the celebration of the International day of human space flight reminds us of the common humanity.

The General Assembly, in its resolution A/RES/65/271 of 7 April 2011, declared 12 April as the International Day of Human Space Flight “to celebrate each year at the international level the beginning of the space era for mankind, reaffirming the important contribution of space science and technology in achieving sustainable development goals and increasing the well-being of States and peoples, as well as ensuring the realization of their aspiration to maintain outer space for peaceful purposes.”

The United Nations has an Office for outer space affairs, which is the Secretariat of the Committee on the peaceful usage of outer space. During the sessions of the Committee, States consider scientific,technical and international legal problems related to space exploration, make recommendations, and formulate various legal instruments aimed at deepening and improving international cooperation.

The UN General Assembly has repeatedly called upon to preserve outer space as a "stable and secure environment suitable for use by present and future generations", and also expressed concern about the possibility of an arms race in outer space.

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